1999-07 Bird and Migration Symbol Jar

Tall vase with monochromatic painting, including bird whirlpool and crosshatched patterns unsigned 1940s (?). Like 2001-04, the painting on this pot is unusual. If Alexander Stephen is correct and his interpretations can be projected forward 50 years, then the spirals on this jar may represent a whirlpool (the gate to Masau’s house) found near the sipipu salt dome on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Crosshatches may represent cultivated fields. The bird figures reflect a payupki style (1680-1820), itself a reflection of Zuni influence. (See Patterson, 1994:29, 233 and 164.) Similar Zuni-inspired birds are also found on Polacca ware, Style C (Wade & McChesney, 1981:235, 369 and 595; see also, the Blairs, 1999:99). Of course, it is also probable that the potter simply painted a design she enjoyed without any conscious reference to prior cultural meaning.